A study conducted at Oulu University Hospital found that using a mobile application tripled the success rate of smoking cessation compared to using written materials.

The study involved 201 smokers who participated in lung cancer screening as part of Finland's first pilot study on lung cancer CT screening, which began in Oulu in November 2022. Lung cancer CT screening has been shown to reduce both lung cancer and overall mortality in smokers while also providing an opportune moment for smoking cessation interventions.

All participants had a long and heavy smoking history (≥15 cigarettes per day for at least 25 years or ≥10 cigarettes per day for at least 30 years). Participants were randomised into two groups: the study group, which used the mobile application, and the control group, which received written cessation materials in line with the national Current Care Guidelines.

After a three-month follow-up, 20 per cent of those using the application had quit smoking, compared to seven per cent in the group that received written materials. This result was retained at the end of the six-month follow-up period.

The results indicate that active use of the application significantly improved the chances of quitting smoking. Even among those who did not completely quit smoking, a larger portion of mobile application users had significantly reduced their smoking compared to the control group.

The mobile application developed by the researchers is based on cognitive behavioural therapy.

It aims to increase awareness of health-deteriorating behaviours and support the individual's active role in regulating their behaviour. Features include weekly symptom surveys, mindfulness exercises, and a virtual support person.

This newly published study is reportedly the world's first randomised clinical trial demonstrating the efficacy of a mobile application for smoking cessation in conjunction with lung cancer CT screening. According to the researchers, the application can be easily integrated into lung cancer screening.

In further studies, researchers plan to focus on investigating the efficacy of the mobile application outside the context of lung cancer screening and in combination with other smoking cessation methods.

The application is currently available only for research purposes.